My Foursquare Mayorship Got Me Featured in the Boston Phoenix

Completely out of the blue, a reporter from the Boston Phoenix emailed me to ask whether I wanted to be featured in a new Boston Phoenix feature about local Foursquare mayors. Of course I agreed; I was delighted to get the Boston Cat Hospital some coverage. Dr. Gallo was the first vet (we’d seen several) to successfully diagnose the bowel disease our kitty had suffered from her whole life. Maud the cat went from 5 lbs and cranky to 7 lbs and, well, slightly less cranky.

Maud and Liz in the Boston Phoenix

Getting interviewed was fun! The reporter contacted me by phone and we chatted. Then a photographer came to the house and took a few pictures of Maud and me. I did my own hair and makeup and I think it came out well. I got a lot of great feedback on the interview, too!

My Profile on Foursquare
Interview in the Boston Phoenix
Photographer Derek Kouyoumjian
Boston Cat Hospital on Yelp

Google Search Tips & Tricks

Just because a technology has been around for a while doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze more personal productivity from it. Don’t get me wrong; I definitely get excited by the latest and greatest tools. But I get even more excited when I’m able to get some new (or new to me, at least) tricks out of an old familiar workhorse like Google search.

Google kitten

Check out this great New York Times article for some great tips…like using Google as a calculator, searching within specific domains, operators, and more. And there’s even more at Google Guide.

View Profiles on LinkedIn Without Leaving a Trace

I noticed something new recently: when I log in to LinkedIn, there is module that tells me how many times I’ve appeared in the search results and how many people have viewed my profile.

who's searching for you on LinkedIn

Now, when I click on that text, it takes me to a page with a list of all the people who have viewed my profile–sometimes full names, sometimes just function and company or industry.

who's viewed your LinkedIn profile

It occurred to me that if I could see who’s viewed me…then the people I’ve viewed can see me too! Here’s how to change that.

From your LinkedIn home screen, choose Settings in the top right menu. Then scroll down to Privacy Settings (lower right) and choose Profile Views > “Control what (if anything) is shown to LinkedIn users whose profile you have viewed”.

control who sees what profiles you are viewing

I chose “Don’t show users that I’ve viewed their profile” because, given my organization and function (the “anonymous profile characteristics”), it would probably be pretty easy for most people to figure out who’s stalking them on LinkedIn.

Most people use LinkedIn like Google–to get information and do research. I always have the option of making a connection if I want to learn more, but this privacy setting allows me to feel anonymous when I am still in the fact-finding stage.

Instapaper

Found out about a great new tool today: Instapaper. I realize I am a little late to the party, but I had to share just in case there is anyone else out there who doesn’t know about it yet. As it says on their website: The times we find information aren’t always ideal for consuming it. Instapaper helps bridge that gap.

Several times a day I’ll find something neat on the web, see a Facebook post from a friend, or get a link to an article in an email. At first I would try to go to all these articles immediately because I had no way of saving them to read later. It first got to the point where I would just skim everything, and then I pretty much stopped trying to read all these articles and posts altogether because I simply wasn’t getting any work done! Enter Instapaper.

Instapaper offers a one-stop shop where you can save anything and everything you find on the web and read it later: in a checkout line, on the bus, or waiting to meet up with friends.

How it works: you register for an account and download a bookmarklet (a little link that runs a mini-program from your browser toolbar) for Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari. You click on the bookmarklet whenever you find something you want to remember to read later. All the content gets saved to your Instapaper account.

Instapaper saves two views of each page whenever possible: a web view with all content intact, and a stripped-down text-and-links version without all the slow-loading flash videos, images and ads (good for reading from your phone or mobile device).

The best part for iPhone users is that the Instapaper iPhone app actually downloads the content of the articles to your phone so that you you can catch up on reading when you don’t have a wifi connection. Like when you are camping out for Red Sox tickets, for example.

Many people subscribe to RSS feeds so that they can stay updated on all their favorite websites sites from one place (usually a feed reader like Google Reader) without going back to the sites all the time. Instapaper offers a great way to save and read scattered articles from those sites that you may not necessarily be interested in subscribing to.